In Grade Five I got into trouble and was punished with one full week of detention. It was the most trouble I ever got into while I was at school. I know, now you think I was a totally rebellious kid, right?

Detention meant standing, facing the wall outside the Principal’s office during recess. All of the students would walk past us to go outside while we stared at the yellowish, creamy coloured cinder blocks. There were four of us.

It was the middle of winter in Ontario and we had had a few days of freezing rain, which left a nice thin, crunchy layer of ice on top of the snow. At lunch time one of my friends said “Let’s play I Hate Your China!” the name of the game peaked my interest so I joined in.

The game consisted of carefully lifting a thin layer of ice off the snow, hopefully in plate sized pieces, once each of us had a pile of ice plates ready to go we would run around, throw them at each others’ feet and yell “I hate your china!” It was one of the best games, ever. We played with such glee and enthusiasm for about five minutes, until we heard the lunch lady yelling at us. She was walking really fast, almost running over to us, face all red, with a constant stream of steam coming from her mouth while she screamed.

Apparently there had been an announcement that morning about not throwing ice…??

We were promptly sent to the Principal’s office and given a marathon guilt trip that lasted well into our afternoon classes. We were the Grade Fives after all, the oldest kids in the school, we were supposed to be setting a good example. Ugh. When she realized that I was also a bus monitor (charged with the daily task of getting the kindergarteners on their right buses) she narrowed her eyes and shook her head, I believe that’s when my bottom lip started to quiver. We all promised to never, ever play I Hate Your China again.

Today I sort of broke that promise. And it felt great! I unloaded the kiln after a glaze firing and a few of the pieces didn’t turn out as I had hoped. Instead of adding them to my pile of “test pieces” I threw the first one in the garbage and it shattered, it was fun. I grabbed a mug and slammed it into the trash can as if I were dunking a basketball and SMASH! It was awesome! I grabbed the other ones and thoroughly enjoyed destroying each one.

Now I know what to do with that box full of the pottery I ruined in December.